When Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas somehow showed up during one of my late night Kindle browses about a month ago, I downloaded it immediately though I don’t usually gravitate toward biographies. (I had succumbed to the siren call of the instant download.) Dennis and I saw the movie version of Wilberforce’s life five or six years ago, we really liked it, and the book download was easy and inexpensive. Why not? This time, my impulse, one-click order paid off. What an inspiring book! Wilberforce changed the world, and Metaxas did justice to the great man’s life. I do wonder, however, how I have reached this place in my life and have never read anything by Eric Metaxas before. Because I liked it so much, I looked for other books by Metaxas and found that I already owned his biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Instant download equals instant forgetfulness.) The next day I learned that Metaxas was coming to speak at the annual SPU business breakfast and at a public lecture on campus. I went to the lecture this afternoon.
Metaxas is engaging, intelligent, funny, and passionate about his faith. He is also an excellent chronicler of the lives of heroes like Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, George Washington, and Jackie Robinson. He spoke about growing up in the Greek Orthodox Church, surviving an English degree from Yale, and an epiphany which led to his salvation. During Q & A he talked about speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast and CPAC and briefly on the topics of abortion, same-sex marriage, and evolution. Great talk by a great author of great books. (Repeatedly redundant, right?)
I have finished about one-third of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. Like Wilberforce, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man whose genuine Christian convictions compelled him to act in bold ways, even though he was hated by “Christians” and non-Christians alike. Having a real, live, ink-on-paper book would have been nice this afternoon; I could have snagged an autographed. If you have a chance to read a Metaxas book, do so.
“If you board the wrong train, it’s no use running along the corridor in the opposite direction.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer